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fdr4freedoms.org: a rich immersion into 20th century history

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want — which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants – everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear — which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world.  

Franklin Delano Roosevelt,  Jan. 6, 1941

This past week, in celebration of Presidents’ Day, the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy launched fdr4freedoms.org.

The free, beautifully designed, curriculum-aligned resource chronicles the life and times of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and includes the equivalent of more than 400 pages of text.

Viewed as digital narrative, or downloaded as PDFs, fdr4freedoms.org focuses a lens on some of the most critical national and international events and issues of the 20th century–notably, the Great Depression, civil rights, the labor movement, World War II, the Atomic Bomb.

Content is organized into four broad topics:

I. Becoming a Leader–Before the Presidency (1882–1933)

II. Hope, Recovery, Reform–The Great Depression & FDR’s New Deal (1933–1939)

III. Four FreedomsPreparing for War, Envisioning Peace (1939–1941)

IV. Statesman & Commander in Chief –FDR in World War II (1941–1945)

The site’s features include:

  • 52 downloadable thematic chapters
  • more than 800 primary sources (archival photographs, newspaper clippings, audio and video footage)
  • short biographies of 80 key historical figures
  • a collection of five-minute originally produced documentaries.